By: Nadine El Shawatfy
A large group of protesters have stormed into H&M stores all over South Africa and resulted in complete chaos when they reportedly pushed over mannequins, stole items and destroyed racks of clothes in rage. These protesters where driven by rage over an H&M racist ad.
An advertisement on the company’s online website showing a child of color wearing a green hoodie with the extremely racist phrase “Coolest monkey in the jungle” triggered people all around the world as it spread so fast and rouse racist controversy. The ad even outraged the singer the Weeknd who worked with H&M in the past but now says he’s “shocked and embarrassed” and he tweeted “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.”
The company quickly pulled the ad but people in South Africa specifically, were still deeply hurt and offended by such an act. Which made the group called the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) organize protests targeting a bunch of H&Ms.
H&M South Africa did not comment although its local website apologized profusely for the triggering advertisement saying “Our position is simple, we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry”
The ad’s undeniable implicit racism is extremely surprising; coming from a well-known international company that should’ve paid more attention to the advertisements that are supposedly meant to make people buy things and not be repelled completely. How a picture and an idea like this went through countless authorities or even photographers or editors and etc, who not one of them protested to the racists implications in such a clothing item is baffling.